Make Money On The Internet | Journalistic Success, Economic Failure – Can Free Web Content Save The Guardian?
Offsetting The Losses
The Guardian has been losing money every year given 2004. Last year alone, it and its sister newspaper, the Observer , mislaid more than 47 million. It’s usually interjection to the farsightedness and goodwill of its one-time owners, the Scott family, that the paper hasn’t vanished bankrupt.
Since 1936, the paper has been saved by the Scott Trust. This make up has but a singular aim: “To secure the article sovereignty of The Guardian in perpetuity.”
Many newspapers would similar to to be formed on such a business model. The Scott Trust owns a number of remunerative companies, inclusive the used-car publication and portal Auto Trader . The increase generated on these are used to cancel out the complicated losses incurred by The Guardian .
“Our assignment is to be distinction looking rsther than than distinction finding,” says Deputy Editor Ian Katz. Even CP Scott, the paper’s owners in the early 20th century, believed it was more critical to be successful than to spin a profit.
However, the Guardian ‘s losses have become as well large to take in — and in 2007 the Scott Trust was forced to sell a few of its properties to refill its coffers.
Andrew Miller, a one-time consumer-goods attention executive and is to past year the handling director of the newspaper’s primogenitor company, the Guardian Media Group, not long ago warned that if the Guardian one after another to make such complicated losses, the firm would simply run out of money inside of 5 years.
An Attempt To Solidify Finances
Belt tightening at the paper has become a must. Current skeleton predict it and the Observer slicing their budgets by 25 million (28.8 million, $39 million) by 2016. Almost 300 employees of a complete workforce of 1,800 have been let go given 2009. Earlier in September, the publishers moreover voiced that the cost of the print book would be increased by 20 percent to 1.20 an situation in an endeavor to indurate finances.
“We are not a arrange of charity,” Rusbridger says. “We are authorised to outlay a lot of money on inquisitive stating nonetheless that does not pay off immediately. But our stream financial situation is not sustainable.”
Rusbridger has asked his readers for pardon over the cost hike. He says the Guardian is not in business to make money. We are a “news firm that is receiving on a few of the jungle’s greatest beasts — and winning,” he wrote in his request for support.
Even so, the publishers have right away given up any hope of ever earning great money with printed paper. Although the every day flow around of the 190-year-old journal increased by 12,000 after the Milly Dowler story, the broad direction continues to be downward.
Rusbridger has thus courageously if desperately sought comfort on the Web. Even so, he still doesn’t regard online readers should be charged is to privilege. The Guardian ‘s website is one of the many renouned around, yet its calm is existing giveaway of assign — in difference to calm on the New York Times website, for example.
The New York Times Philosophy
The New York Times also repetitively dipped in to the red in new years and was forced to look for new shareholders and loans in the triple-digit millions. The ” Times ” also believed in an online future, and wondered how it could make money on the Internet. It, however, chose a entirely not similar hook to that adopted by the Guardian : It asked its users to pay up.
From one day to the next, its readership figures collapsed. Yet surprisingly, a few readers returned, and they right away obediently pay to access the paper’s online content.
The Guardian and the New York Times are two giants fighting on the same battlefield, yet with entirely not similar strategies. On the one side there are the Americans, who dared to assign for their content, on the other the Brits, who pick to rest on promotion revenues for apprehension of scaring their readers away.
Both are fighting a fighting of element on interest of the whole press, that is awaiting the result with bated breath. So far, it’s misleading that draw close will prevail.
Thanks to the subsidy of the Scott Trust, the Guardian can means to be more studious than the New York Times and many other newspapers. “To stifle off digital expansion right away would be a really risky decision,” says Rusbridger.
With his large, black, horn-rimmed eyeglasses and tousled, dim hair, the Guardian ‘s editor-in-chief looks similar to a grown-up chronicle of Harry Potter; similar to a human who likes to result in trouble. When Rusbridger and his departmental heads disappointment down in a sea of bright-yellow sofas for their every day 10 a.m. article conference, a overwhelm falls over the room. Rusbridger then proffers a few selection words of commendation about the formerly day’s edition, vocalization so sensitively you could regard he was conversing to himself. By difference he takes small segment in the deliberation of the module is to stream issue.
A Philosophical Difference
Rusbridger has hold his post is to past 16 years. Just similar to his predecessors, his order from the Scott Trust is to bring on as heretofore.” That might have been meant more from an reliable and dignified indicate of perspective than from an mercantile one, but simply stability in any case is apropos increasingly untenable.
The Guardian ‘s flow around has been shrinking for a long time. In the final year alone, it has depressed by 10 percent notwithstanding the Murdoch liaison and the WikiLeaks revelations surrounding secret State Department dispatches that the Guardian published together with the New York Times and Der Spiegel.
The reject in circulation, a destiny suffered likewise by other high quality British newspapers, was caused to a not considerate border by Murdoch’s tabloids, that also add the Sun . The British tabloid press is the world’s toughest; it is notoriously sensationalist and definitely unscrupulous.
In this sea of sharks, the Guardian has long been seen as a rsther than old-fashioned and haughty shrimp. It hasn’t helped that the journal has a repute for being partial on headlines but all the more certain of itself, a type of windbag paper for intellectuals, teachers and sandal-wearers. A paper that thinks more than it knows.
That image, of course, has been divorced from reality for several years now. Few other newspapers have been as steady in hounding the British authorities as the Guardian beneath Rusbridger. It landed a distinguished Conservative statesman in jail and became inextricable in marvellous legal battles with supermarket hulk Tesco and oil firm Trafigura over press freedom.
Even the free-for-all against Murdoch brought it ample sympathy. A pin-board covered in bits of paper hangs on the second building of the newspaper’s modern domicile nearby King’s Cross Station in London. The bits of paper are all snippets of readers’ mail: “Congratulations on a great job,” one says. Another, “Where can we obtain a T-shirt that says: we am unapproachable to be a Guardian reader?”
But with flow around of the print book stability to dwindle, Rusbridger has systematic a extreme change of hook at the Guardian . Now every bruise is to be invested in to the online operations, whilst the print book will become smaller.
A new, slimmed down Guardian is to be denounced this fall, providing readers with more credentials review spread opposite fewer pages. The publishers have no illusions this will end the tumble in circulation, but at least it will cut costs.
By contrast, the online Guardian is apropos an ever-greater force. According to marketplace researchers Comscore, the Guardian website ranked fifth worldwide this Aug amid the many renouned journal sites, attracting roughly 32 million users a month. An American auxiliary has been charged with boosting user figures in the U.S., where the Guardian already has a firm air blower bar on account of its open-minded leanings.
But for all its online verve, the Guardian isn’t creation any money on the web either. Aside from a few associated services and a mobile subscription, the paper gives away its calm wholesale, assured this is the usually way it will finally be profitable. The hope is that the more people use the online edition, the larger the associated promotion revenues will one day become.
The ‘Rusbridger Cross’
To date it has remained just that: A hope, even though Rusbridger has a two-line chart he thinks proves his point. One line shows income from the print book that is streamer steadily downward. The other shows income from the web and points in the opposite direction. His reporters jokingly call the indicate where the two lines join the “Rusbridger cross”, the short time when their boss’ bet would conceptually pay off even even though the print Guardian continues to remove money.
The usually subject right away is when and at what level the two lines will meet. “It is far as well early to say that it won’t work out,” he Rusbridger says. “We have to wait for and change the promotion industry’s mind.”
The New York Times has valid that a braver or riskier draw close — depending on your perspective — can also bear fruit. In March, publishing house Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., voiced the cash-strapped journal would be introducing a pay wall.
Since then, it has been charging readers who access articles more than 20 times a month on nytimes.com between $15 and $35 depending on either they read the journal on the web usually or also on a smartphone or inscription similar to the iPad.
“The urge (for Times journalism) is enormous,” then Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller assured his disturbed article staff. “And, you know, where there’s a partial supply and a outrageous demand, finally a business model will emerge.”
It was an existential step, similar to receiving a jump in the dim without actually knowing where you’re going to land. Jill Abramson, who took over from Keller in early September, champions the pay wall. After all, she helped deliver it.
Journalism Has A Price
Although it is by no means certain the plan will pay off in the long term, the primary results are suddenly encouraging. Just 3 months after its introduction, 224,000 users were profitable for access to the website. That’s roughly the figure administration had approaching by the end of the first year. Nevertheless, the journal hasn’t expelled more new numbers, nor has it done any financial sum open thus far.
The foreword of paid access might have cut the on the whole readership of the New York Times , but with a universal assembly of 47 million users a month, it’s still the number one headlines site. A feared unemployment in online promotion revenues never materialized, partly because the publishers were able to elevate their prices, and the slight reject in ad-related income in new weeks seems to be due more to the feeble manage to buy than the foreword of the pay wall.
Defenders of the pay wall say great broadcasting has a price. But Rusbridger at the Guardian thinks that “it sounds more without doubt than it is.” He’s meddlesome in more than a business model: “This is a ample bigger story about what broadcasting is,” he says.
Not Enough To Live On
In Rusbridger’s eyes, the thought of charging online readers money is similar to restraining to apply out of date traditions to the new digital world. “The new, digital world of broadcasting is an open world that involves readers,” he says.
He thinks people who urge money from him are simply sanctimonious reporters are still the usually experts. “Perhaps our most appropriate drama censor gets 9 points out of 10. The aggregate expertise of our readers might be 6 out of 10. So the margin for charging is not nought to nine, but this 3 indicate divide,” he adds.
There is one earnest pointer that the Guardian ‘s efforts will finally pay off: Ever given it pennyless the News of the World scandal, people are more likely to spin to the Guardian website than that of its competitors to read about leading events such as the new riots in London and elsewhere.
“People see us as a reliable source of news,” says Deputy Editor Katz. “We are taken seriously.” That, though, is not sufficient to live on.